Infrastructure Energy & MaterialsSeptember 21, 2021

Maintaining infrastructure assets with speed and efficiency

The following article is excerpted from Infrastructure Lifecycle Management Through Virtual Twins, a…
Avatar Lin Miao

The following article is excerpted from Infrastructure Lifecycle Management Through Virtual Twins, a whitepaper developed by Dassault Systèmes. To read more and learn more about how to maintain infrastructure assets with speed and efficiency, download the full whitepaper here.

Let’s explore a key business case where the 3DEXPERIENCE platform made a critical difference in infrastructure development and lifecycle management.

Chengdu URB: Maintaining infrastructure assets with speed and efficiency through BIM technology on the cloud

At the time of its completion, Chengdu’s Second Ring Road was the city’s largest municipal construction project.


In the Chinese province of Sichuan, Second Ring Road is over 28 km long and 8 lanes wide. The elevated road is managed and maintained by Urban Road & Bridge Monitoring and Service Center, Chengdu City (Chengdu URB). Chengdu’s smart city management master plan seeks to horizontally and vertically integrate various resources, create a more refined approach to urban management, and take a holistic view of the maintenance function.

In order to align with the city’s larger smart city vision, and to Second Ring Road as efficiently and effectively as possible, Chengdu URB turned to BIM technology.


Chengdu URB commissioned Chengdu RYD Information Technology Co. Ltd. (RYD) to build an asset management information system. A large number of companies were involved in the construction of the Second Ring Road. Plus, there was an overabundance of construction-related data. As-built data was difficult to find and correspond with completed bridges and roads.

The project aimed to create a modern, contextualized, and visual experience for users by integrating BIM and GIS. In addition, the team intended to digitalize and virtualize the infrastructure by creating BIM model, and to enable mobile monitoring and maintenance processes.


Chengdu URB and RYD implemented the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with CATIA and ENOVIA applications from Dassault Systèmes, and to integrate with SuperMap, a local GIS software program.

In Phase 1, RYD engineers selected one complex interchange. Started from 1,300 drawings, they created a large BIM model that is identical to the real interchange with clear detail on a scale from as large as a bridge pier to as small as a rain gutter. The model includes up to 16,000 bridge components, each with its own serial number, allowing workers to quickly and accurately locate issues. After the success of Phase 1, a huge BIM model for entire Second Ring Road was created by RYD.


Using handheld mobile devices, workers quickly gather data and submit damage reports at any time or location, upload data to the cloud, and reference 3D models and technical resources related to their tasks.

For example, as part of his daily inspection, Zhang Zheng stopped at the corner of a guardrail and noticed cracks in the cement block. He took a picture and reported the inspection in the Second Ring Road and Bridge management system through the application on his mobile device. Within a minute, maintenance personnel received the information and rushed to the scene to fix the fault. From issue detection to resolution, the process took less than half a day. In the past, it might have taken several days.

Managers receive, view and assign maintenance tasks, enabling rapid repairs and streamlining issue management. The leadership team can view, search for, and inspect the status of maintenance at any time or place. Moreover, the entire process occurs online, achieving environmental conservation goals by going paperless.

“Previously, we found that addressing road and bridge issues, from reporting to maintenance, took a few days. Now the system automatically dispatches information, which is quickly passed from the scene to the hands of maintenance personnel, greatly shortening resolution time.” – Representative of Urban Road & Bridge Monitoring and Service Center, Chengdu City

Chengdu URB now enjoys a highly efficient, high-quality infrastructure assets management process, and continues to push toward smart city management ideals. The implementation serves as a case study for other smart cities looking to implement a highly detailed management system for roads and bridges.

Workers using the system for road bridge maintenance

Quantitative outcomes include:

  • 8x increase in maintenance speed
  • 3x increase in labor efficiency
  • 42x increase in financial efficiency
  • 2x improvement in quality

Following completion of the first phase of the Second Ring Road management system, documents and as-built data have become fully digitized. The system accurately locates problem areas, bringing the Chengdu bridge and road management system to into the “cloud management age”, which drew interest from major media outlets.

IoT sensors will be installed in the important structural parts of the urban bridge. Intelligent monitoring prevents hidden dangers within the structure not visible by inspectors.

Finally, a real-time traffic monitoring system also ensures the health of the bridge and public safety by preventing vehicle overload. The continuous monitoring system can warn vehicles in advance and alert them to bypass the bridge.


Chengdu URB has demonstrated that digitizing large infrastructure assets to manage and maintain it within a 3D environment on the cloud delivers impressive results in terms of efficiency, cost savings, and performance.

Excerpted from Infrastructure Lifecycle Management Through Virtual Twins, a Dassault Systèmes whitepaper. Download to learn more.

This white paper is presenting industry trends in Construction, Cities & Territories covering infrastructure lifecycle management through virtual twin. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is currently taking over the traditional methods for infrastructure developments, operation and maintenance. Using BIM and virtual twin allow collection, analysis, and aggregation of data and enhances collaboration between different stakeholders, from design to operation and maintenance.

Related links:

Dassault Systèmes Construction, Cities & Territories Industry

Stay up to date

Receive monthly updates on content you won’t want to miss


Register here to receive a monthly update on our newest content.